Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 310-8176
SEEK AND LIVE YOUR OWN INDEPENDENT POINT OF VIEW
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
Here are some truths that cannot be denied; if you look at Africans they seem uneducated and ill informed; they seem to be living in a different century, may be in the thirteenth century (before the age of discovery and science); their views are simply not up to par with what you would expect in people living in the twenty first century who are educated in the scientific method and are up to snuff on modern science.
Many Africans talk in religious terms (Christianity and Islam) that, at best, seem primitive and magical religions; you are motivated to see them as primitive folk and avoid them.
Simply put, one, if rational, is motivated not to respect Africans points of views; one is motivated to dismiss Africans as not relevant for one in rational discourse. Honestly, one cannot respect typical Africans because their views seem superstitious and silly.
If you look at white folks, especially white Americans what you see are ill-educated people; they seem to be silly in their views; despite living in the most scientifically advanced country in the world their individual views are usually uneducated; in fact, most of them sound stupid. Thus, you cannot honestly respect individual Americans points of views and you dismiss them and move away from them.
If you look at the white American government, such as Donald Trump’s government what you see is craziness; the government of America appears run by idiots; the government certainly does not seem to be governing on behalf of the people but on behalf of the few rich folks in the country.
What seems rational is for the American government to give all Americans publicly paid health insurance and give all Americans publicly paid education through university.
American legislators and leaders in general still debate whether their people need health insurance or not. While they are having such silly debates they are shifting the tax payers’ moneys to military and other areas that serve the wealthy contractors supplying the military with means of killing people.
The American government, to put it honestly, does not deserve respect; in fact, it is contemptible. I do not see how a rational person with integrity can respect the American government (to some extent the same goes for the other western governments).
As for non-Western governments, such as the Muslim governments in the Middle East, those are honestly sub human governments; no rational person can respect them.
So, what should you do? What the individual should do is seek the truth as he sees it; seek and come up with your truth and live it.
One should not live in accordance with what other people tell one are the truth but only what one concluded is the truth. You must live your truth if you want to have integrity and self-respect.
Therefore, sit down and write down what you believe is the truth for you and live it. You should not seek approval of that truth from other people; nor should you try to approve other people’s truth; you leave other people to live their own self derived truth.
You may identify people who seem to be living your truth. In US politics the only politician that lives the truth as I see it is Senator Bernie Sanders, the self-styled democratic socialist. He advocates publicly paid health insurance for all Americans and publicly paid education for all Americans through university. I like what he represents although I do not call myself a socialist; I accept aspects of capitalism and aspects of socialism to form a mixed economy; I am a mixed economist. My own independent thinking leads me to reach my politics and there I stand and will not budge.
Bernie Sanders is apparently a pacifist; he does not want to use the military to go after Muslim terrorists; I disagree with him; I want us to go after the Muslim terrorists and cut off their heads wherever they are in this world.
In fact, I want us to stamp out Islam for it is not a religion; it is a political ideology used for enslaving people to worshiping Mohammed.
I tolerate Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism as useful mythologies that help people to live peacefully with one another but if you ask my choice it is to do away with all religions and replace them with a rational approach to phenomena, what I call scientific culture.
Finally, you have to take back control of your life and live it well; you should not engage in self destructive behaviors such as eat too much and get fat ( my weight when I was twenty five was 145 lbs. but lately I found myself weighing considerably more than that so I decided that it is time to take back my life and went on starvation and did not eat for weeks and reduced my weight to under 150 lbs. and will keep it there even if it means not eating at all; I got into self-destructive habits of eating too much due to laziness and despair).
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 23, 2017
COINCIDENCE OR SERENDIPITY OR SPIRITUALITY?
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
This morning I woke and out of nowhere it occurred to me that since the Nigerian state has kept Nnamdi Kanu in detention for an extended period of time and, apparently, plan to keep him there much longer and there is nothing that he can do to get out, I decided to write to him a letter urging him to use his time in prison to write a book delineating what his Biafra struggle is all about. Moreover, it would help him kill time if he did that writing. I also suggested to him that other people who were jailed had taken the opportunity to write about their experiences and or philosophies and have other people edit them and thus tell the world what they stand for. Finally, I urged him to read the Russian writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf as a way of killing time and learning from them.
This evening, bored I tried to find something to watch on TV that is not the usual American TV faire of escape and trivia. I did TV surfing and lighted on channel 63 (Newsmax TV) and lo and behold they are showing Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the writing of the Gulag Archipelago. Naturally, I am watching it (as I am typing this piece at 11: 30).
Is this a coincidence, serendipity or influenced by a higher part of my mind? If you are an atheist, of course, you would say that it is pure accident but if you are a believer in spirituality you would probably say that it is due to a higher part of my mind, spirit and that that part of me, made me do what I do.
Let it be said that generally I do not care that much about Biafra and Nnamdi Kanu but lately he has been in my mind, for I believe that he has been detained for too long, he ought to be tried and if found guilty imprisoned and if not released but not just held for over two years. His detention, to me, seems unfair.
Anyway, I just wanted to share with you the type of life that I find myself living: I would be thinking of something and it occurs and so on. You make of this type of life what you like. (Below is my little piece to and on Nnamdi Kanu this morning; it was posted at some Nigerian Internet fora).
On Nnamdi Kanu
While in detention Nnamdi Kanu should take the opportunity to write a book on his vision for his Biafra. Many folks who were imprisoned have taken the opportunity to write books delineating their causes’ philosophies, manifestos.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote the Gulag Archipelago* while in Siberian prison. When Adolf Hitler was imprisoned in 1925 he wrote his manifesto, Mein Kampf, My struggle and had his friend, Hess edit it.
Kanu should write a book on what Biafra means to him and get one of his lieutenants to edit it for him and publish it; that way we get to know what this Biafra business is all about.
Moreover, writing a book would give him something to do as well as sharpen his writing skills; he should not be all talk and just commit his ideas to writing.
Put your ideas down on paper if you want them to be known by other people and to posterity. A four hundred and fifty pages book on Biafra would do more to sell Biafra than merely having unemployed Igbo youths demonstrate for it and get shot to death by the Nigerian state.
Africans should stop being idle motor mouths and become writing people.
If you have access to Mr. Nnamdi Kanu please relay this message to him. Thank you.
While in prison Nnamdi Kanu could also while away his time by reading the Gulag Archipelago.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Gulag Archipelago. The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn about the Soviet forced labor camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 23, 2017
(907) 310- 8176
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE MOTIVATING DESIRES OF YOUTH DISAPPEAR
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
In youth we have pleasant illusions that we have it in us to change the world. With that desire in us we are motivated to accomplish great things. We go to school and obtain useful education. Thereafter, we secure jobs, marry and have children. We devote ourselves to trying to actualize our youthful desires.
Our youthful desires pretty much take us into our mid-thirties. Thereafter, one begins to realize that the world is not for one to change it and that despite ones ideals that the old world would remain as it was when one was born. The world's core does not change, although we make changes in its periphery.
In our forties the goals that had excited us in our youth die and most people begin to die a slow death.
Actually, all death is self-inflicted. People inflict death to themselves when they realize that their youthful ideas are not going to be realized. By their fifties people are eating too much, drinking too much and no longer exercising regularly and generally do things that destroy their bodies. They get fat and bloated with protruding bellies (see a man with big belly see a walking dead man).
By age sixty many persons have given up on life and are now living shadows of their former selves; they are now ready to kick the bucket; they soon die from cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and stroke and other diseases caused by their bad habits.
The question is what to do when one experiences midlife crisis in ones fifties (now ones former vigorous physical powers is almost gone and one is getting physically old and find it difficult to run a few miles without collapsing).
What you should do is rethink your youthful goals and come up with more realistic goals, not the idealism, illusions and delusions of youth. You do not have to be despaired, desponded and depressed and give up; you can give yourself mature goals to live for during the rest of your life. You do not have to overeat and get fat and look ugly.
So, what goals are realistic for you and excite you to action? Clearly, it cannot be the delusional goal of changing the world, for if you have not changed the world by age sixty you are not going to do so anymore; you simply do not have enough time left to do so, for, give and take you have no more than thirty useful years to live and that is not enough time to change the world.
According to Hinduism, folks over sixty should have had their children trained and now have the time to ponder spiritual matters; thus, Hinduism says that folks in their sixties should now devote themselves to the search for God and see if there is God or not.
I began my search for God in my thirties and pretty much have concluded that I cannot use the intellect to discover whether there is God or not; science cannot help me understand whether there is God or not, either. So, instead of making my life miserable seeking God I do what seems to me the next best thing: love me, love all people and forgive what can be forgiven and correct what can be corrected. I live love and teach love.
For the past two decades I have been engaged in philosophical and psychological writing. I have written enough books to make a difference in the world of ideas.
I did all these hiding in plain site; I propagated a new philosophy for mankind, one that says that God is unified state, and unified state is love so we must love one another, not as a moral issue but as a rational issue, for if we love one another we live in peace and enjoy some happiness in this impersonal and sorrowful world.
So, what are your own rethought mid-life goals for you? Only you can determine it, my friend; no other person can do so for you. Good luck in that endeavor.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 23, 2017
YOU BEGIN WITH SENSE OF DEFICIT AND MAKE THE MISTAKE OF ASKING OTHER PEOPLE TO MAKE YOU LESS DEFICIENT
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
In childhood, I began out with a sense of deficit; I believed that there is something wrong with my body. I ended up asking other people to tell me that I am good enough.
I wanted to be like those that I perceived to be good so as to make me seem good. I wanted to attach me to those that seem good so as to feel good.
At school, I wanted to be like the children of the rich; in youth I wanted to be like the rich; in America I wanted to be like white folks.
Eventually, of course, I learned that the children of the rich are mostly garbage, the rich are mostly idiots (see Donald Trump the buffoon despite his billions of dollars) and white folks are mostly sociopaths).
So, where then do you go after you discover the nature of reality? You go to where you ought to have been all along: you accept yourself as you are in an unconditionally positive manner and have no desire to be like other people; you give up the sense that if you are this or that way other people will approve you.
You do not need to have other people's approval and nobody needs your approval to be who they are; you do not need to judge you or other people as good or bad; you just have to accept you and other people as they are.
You only concern yourself with other people if other people attempt to harm you; if they harm you thereafter you have every right to defend yourself and since the best defense is offense you attack and if needs be kill them (or if you so choose you forgive them and insist that they not harm you again, for forgiveness does not mean tolerating harmful behaviors from the forgiven).
Accept yourself as you are; do not make any efforts to approximate what you think that other people would like you to be before they accept you; you do not need other people's acceptance and they do not need your acceptance.
If you do so you have good mental health but if you insist that other people need to accept you then you are a neurotic.
Those you seek approval from are like you; we are all animals that live, die and rot and smell to high heaven so you do not need any such person's approval.
You may have medical and or biological deficits but that is your personal issues, not other people's issue; your medical deficit does not mean that there is something wrong with you. Just learn to deal with your issues without getting other people involved.
Whereas all over the world children call each other negative names and make fun of other children with physical deformities, certain primitive folks, such as Igbo adults, will call you put down names if they believe that you have physical deformities; what they do shows their uncivilized state so you do not have to worry about them; you overlook them as one overlooks savages; their infantile opinions do not matter.
If you are a black man you do not need the approval of white folks; you do not need the acceptance of slave masters and sociopaths; if it ever crosses your mind to get white folks approval stop right there and give it up.
I hope that this insight from my own life helps you.
PS: Last night, I watched on YouTube a replica of an Igbo compound or village in Virginia, USA. They constructed thatched huts; the huts are in a village exhibiting what life was like in the places from where Americans came from: England, Germany and Africa; the huts are part of the American heritage; many American slaves came from Alaigbo. Those type of houses actually existed in Igbo land through the 1970s. I had been ashamed that our African people lived in such primitive state. I had put as much distance as is possible from such houses. I would not come to the USA and construct such primitive houses and exhibit them for the rest of the world to see how primitive Africans were. But I saw an Igbo professor proudly talking about the houses of his people. At that point I realized that what made some people ashamed does not make others ashamed. The proud professor accepted his people's primitive status while a shame bound professor did not like his people's primitive past. The proud professor is, of course, healthier than the shame feeling professor. Clearly, Igbo houses were primitive but why should one be ashamed of them? Are there people who were not in the past primitive?
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 22, 2017
THE WORST MISTAKE MADE BY THOSE INTO METAPHYSICS IS TO IGNORE PHYSICS
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
I have read where those who are into metaphysics and new age religions deemphasize physics. This is a mistake. We on earth live in a three dimensional universe; we live in space, time and matter. Our bodies are made of matter (64 of the 92 elements in nature are found in our bodies). We walk in space and time. Simply put, we are part of the world of space, time and matter; those three do affect our bodies.
Our bodies do get sick (from shear wear and tear, fatigue and from germs, such as bacteria, virus and fungi) and need to be healed with medications; we do get hungry and need food; we are affected by inclement weather and need to wear clothes (I live in Alaska; it is spring in other parts of the world but in Anchorage the weather, as I type, is about 10 degrees Fahrenheit so if you go outside without thick clothes you will die in a couple of hours; you simply have to wear weather appropriate clothes, and live in a well-insulated and heated house and drive in a heated car if you want to survive.
There is no two ways of going about it. Your new age religion will not enable you to survive in Alaska if you do not abide by the dictates of its punitive weather.
The human body responds to the climate it lives in; the body's inherited nature plays a role in its response.
For example, since I was a born I have had low energy. I do not have physical energy to do physical work, never had, not even as a child or young boy. I intuitively understood my nature hence avoided physical work. If I were to go do physical work I would probably collapse, faint and die in a few days.
I know enough about the human body and medical science to understand why I do not have physical energy. I can explain the biological reasons for it.
The point is that I cannot deny my physical reality and go follow those with sufficient physical energy to do physical work and do physical work. I cannot smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, drink alcohol, or do drugs; if I do I die. Indeed, I can only eat certain food, mostly vegetables and fruits. That is simply my reality.
We are each different. Those with abundant physical energy do physical work and sports and eat whatever they want to eat. People like me with low physical energy interestingly have abundant mental energy and do mental work; people like me read, think and produce ideas. No one expects the athletic type to produce philosophical ideas; they are too dense to do introspective thinking (they are more like work horses, no brains).
Physics, chemistry and biology influence the human body and determine what each of us can do; physics shape our behaviors; there is no use denying this reality while jabbering about spiritual matters. To deny matter while one lives in matter is delusional.
I say this because I hear my new age religionist friends tell me that they are praying and that through prayers and other magical thinking that they can heal their bodies; Christian scientists take that delusional thinking to a whole new level and desist from taking medications and, of course, die.
Yet, there is spirit; our bodies are masks through which spirits act in the three dimensional universe. We wear bodily masks of different types and the mask, that is, bodies we inherited affect our behaviors while we are in body and on earth. In fact, our bodies enable us to play the roles we play on earth; spirit disguises itself as body and plays a role that its specific body enables it to play.
If you are physically strong your body probably designed you to be good at sports and physical work but you cannot do what my body disposed me to do, such as read most of western philosophy while a teenager and do psychology and then branch off to doing other things.
Body hides our real selves, which are spirits, but as long as we live in bodies body do affect what we do; there is no use denying this reality.
There are those who are so spiritually advanced that with practice they can leave their bodies and experience other universes. I have experienced the universe of light forms (in it people are like they are in our world but are made of pure light energy, they are in light forms; with thinking and wishes they can be anywhere in their universe of light forms; that universe still has space, time and refined matter).
Some people have experienced other universes including the universe where we are not in forms, dense or light but are pure thought, a universe where we are ideas in the whole idea that folks call God. Yes, there is heaven, a place of pure light; heaven is a wave of spiritual light and each of us is a unit, particle of that light. Wave and particles share one self and one mind and are thus one; there is no space and time between them; you can act as the whole or as the part of the whole.
You cannot understand heaven, in my terms, unified spirit self, by my talking about it for until you have experienced it you cannot know it, so, it is pointless for me to talk about it.
Moreover, in our three dimensional universe perhaps ten people have actually experienced union with all being; people are at different levels in their evolution through matter, space and time. You cannot rush your evolution; you are where you are in time and space and that is all there is to you.
For now the point that I am making is that we are in the universe of space, time and matter and live in bodies and bodies affect us and we must take care of our bodies with good food, medications, clothes and the other things we do on earth; above all we must study science.
If your level of science is below bachelor's degree you ought to improve your study, especially of physics and chemistry and bring your understanding of them to bachelor's degree level, at least.
Do not delude yourself that you are spirit and therefore deny your present reality: living in space, time and matter; those three limit what you can do. If you jump from a high rise building you will smash your body on the ground and die.
Even if you are one of those spiritually highly evolved persons who know that you are, in truth, not matter and that the physical universe does not exist, is a dream, as long as you opt to live in our universe that universe will affect you.
When you experience other universes, as I have, you have the choice to stay in one of them or to come back to our universe; nobody forces you to return to our universe.
As long as you have chosen to live in our universe that universe has its laws and dynamics and they do affect you and you might as well study physics to be able to adapt realistically to our world.
When you have had enough of our world then you leave it and stay in other universes. We all have that choice.
What knowledge of other universes does for you is give you a sense of immortality; you know that when you seem to die on earth, in the dream of separation, you merely awaken in another universe (for those on earth, you awaken to the world of light forms).
You know that life is eternal, permanent and changeless. With this knowledge at the back of your mind you will no longer be prone to fear, anger, depression, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia, delusion and the other mental illnesses that afflict human beings.
For example, even if you point a gun at me I would not be afraid of your killing me. Indeed, that has always been the case with me. When I was a graduate student at UCLA (in my twenties) I had a part time job at a psychiatric hospital in Hollywood. Despite what you may have read about the glitter of Hollywood that tinsel town is mostly ghetto; it is smoke and mirrors!
(UCLA is located in heaven on earth; it is wedged between Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Brentwood, the most expensive real estate on planet earth; the campus is certainly better looking than any campus that you can think of and I have been to most of the good ones, such as Oxford, Cambridge, Caltech, Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, Columbia etc. and they pale in comparison to the architectural beauty of the bruins.)
Anyway, I was in Hollywood and walking down a street and a Latino boy, no more than fifteen years of age, ran towards me with a gun pointing straight at my face. I went into my warrior mode and simply ignored him. He asked for my wallet and I ignored him and looked him in the ace without fear or saying anything. I remembered that the most he can do is shoot and kill me. I am born and will die so what is the point in being afraid and out of fear do what another person ask me to do. Thus, I simply ignored the rat. He stood there looking at me, fear written all over his face (criminals are cowards). Other people were coming along and the coward decided to run off.
As long as you are not afraid other people cannot do any harmful thing to you but when you are in fear other people can screw you in any which way they want to.
The point is that if you know that there are other worlds you will overcome fear and anger for you accept your immortality and thus nothing can threaten your peace. That is what knowledge of spiritual matters does for you.
Spirituality does not give you the power to do magic, to physically heal people or awaken the dead etc. In the meantime, go study physics and science in general and use that information to make the most of our physical universe.
Don't ever deny your present reality of physics and pretend that the study of metaphysics would make you not affected by your physical environment.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 21, 2017
Fear assumes that one is a body that can be harmed and destroyed; ultimately, fear is predicated on fear of death.
A course in miracles says that we are not body, that body is a dream figure we take on in our dream that we are separate from God and from our real self, the son of God. It says that our true self is eternal, permanent and changeless. It says that we choose to separate from God and each other but could not do so in reality, eternity, in unified spirit self and went to sleep and seem to be dreaming and in our dreaming now seem separated; that we invented space, time and matter and now house ourselves in bodies and in bodies seem separated from each other.
The book says that we do not live in space, time and matter; indeed, it says that space, time and matter are illusions.
There are no bodies but we seem to live in bodies; we made those bodies seem vulnerable and destroyable and we came to fear that our bodies could be destroyed. We are told that we are not bodies and therefore should not fear the destruction of our bodies.
Since we believe that our bodies can be destroyed other people believe that they can destroy our bodies; we fear that our bodies can be destroyed.
People do attack, harm and destroy our bodies but it is done in dreams; the book tells us that even when folks harm our bodies and destroys them that we are not harmed.
The book tells us not to be fearful for we are eternal; it says that we must forgive those who seem to harm our bodies for they did not harm or destroy our real selves.
IDENTIFICATION WITH THE EGO IS NOT JUSTIFIED
The logic of this view is the same as the logic that fear is not justified; we are not egos; egos are the false identities we take on in dream states, dream figures.
Our true selves is said to be the eternal sons of God and that in our true states we are spirits and went to sleep and in our dreams take on dream figures called egos in bodies.
Believing that we are the dream selves we made we fear their death. A course in miracles tells us that we are not the dream figures, egos; that we are not ego s and bodies but are the sons of God.
If we are not egos and bodies then we must not fear the harm and death of our egos and bodies.
AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT AFRAID YOU WILL NOT SINK.
Mao Tse Tung.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 20, 2017
ANGER IS NEVER JUSTIFIED, SAYS A COURSE IN MIRACLES
(The Journey towards enlightenment)
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
MY ANGER IS ROOTED IN MY SENSE OF ABANDONMENT CAUSED BY MY PHYSICAL ISSUES
In childhood I kept quiet and mostly stayed to myself but if you dared to tell me what to do I asked you who the hell you think that you are telling me what to do; If you tried to force it, such as when my uncle Bernard insisted that I go to do farming for our grandmother I felt angry and simply refused to go to their farm to do farm work. I flat out refused to do their farm work and you could not make me do it. They called me a stubborn, unruly boy but I simply refused to do physical work (my fragile physical body could not do farm work, so it was not just irrational stubbornness at work).
As a teenager I was forced to live in what is called Biafra; Igbos were fighting with Nigerians. The Igbos were conscripting boys above age fourteen into their army. They came to our compound with the intention of conscripting the teenage boys. I was so angry at them that I was ready to kill them. I told them to get the fuck out of our compound. I asked them why they think that their idiot Ojukwu and idiot Gowon should go bring about a war and not go fight it like men, amano-amano, with each other, and, instead, come to conscript innocent boys like me to fight their goddamned war for them. The soldiers looked at me like I was insane but I simply ordered them out of our compound. I reminded them that the Geneva Convention forbids conscripting children under age eighteen into the army. The alternative they have was to shoot and kill me but not ask me to do what I do not want to do; no human being has ever done that to me. I only do what I want to do not what other men born of women ask me to do. I have been that way since I was born.
So, why do I feel angry when other people ask me to do something? I believe that I have now found the answer.
As a child I was traumatized by pain (due to inherited mitochondria disorder). In pain I felt abandoned by God and man. I felt that no one is helping me to overcome my pain and felt angry at God and people for abandoning me to live in pain.
My sense of abandonment was compounded when at age eight my parents sent me to their village for two years to go live with their parents and my uncle Bernard asked me to follow him and his son, Fabian, to go do our grandmother's farm work (Iko-ji). I resolutely said no. and they looked at me as a crazy boy; in their world an eight year old boy simply does not disobey his uncles.
I believe that what my parents did, send me to go live with their parents, added to my sense of abandonment by God and man. I felt alone in this wide world.
If I am in pain and alone and no one helps me reduce my pain, who the hell do you think that you are telling me what to do; what do you do for me; do you make my pain go away?
In the USA, lately, I ran into a bunch of idiot Igbos at Nigerian Internet forums and they want every Igbo to kowtow to their brain dead ideas and if you disagree with them they call you all sorts of put down names. If you agree with them you are fine and welcomed into their world but if you disagree with them they come at you with their limited vocabulary calling you all sorts of abusive names. They want you to conform to their mass delusion disorder and see their nonsensical construction of reality as reality.
I felt angry at these Bushmen for wanting to tell me what to believe and do. I literally wanted to kill all of them. How dare these primitives to tell me what is true and not true? How dare they construct reality for me?
Are these not the same people whose parents until a hundred years ago were capturing and selling their people to white men? I have total disrespect for them.
Well, in time I learned to tune them out and do not pay attention to what they say. The relevant point is that I felt angry at them for daring to dictate to me what to believe and do.
The issue here is that I have always felt abandoned by God and people and therefore have a simmering anger at people and at God. As a teenager, all you needed to do is mention the word god and I would say to you: fuck you and your god; your god does not help eradicate my pain. God is useless, I said, and walked away from religionists who were always shoving the bible into my face (I would take their bible, though, and read it!).
My father is pretty much like me; he, too, had physical pains but he adapted by trying to achieve something so that his people would accept and praise him. After schooling he left his village and in a few years had made money from trading; he bought all sorts of modern gadgets for his brothers and villagers. His goal in life was to be an achiever, a rich man so that his people would recognize him as such. He wanted respect from his people.
Since he gave and gave to his brothers at a certain point he felt angry that they gave him nothing in return. When he sent me to the village he expected his brothers in the village to take care of me. They did not.
My mother, at Lagos, sent monthly parcels of rice, beans, stock fish, sardines, evaporated milk, margarine, corned beef and all kinds of goodies to me. Above all she sent money to me.
Mother sent enough money that her money was actually feeding those who were supposed to take care of me!
I was one of two boys in the village who went to school in clean and ironed clothes and wore shoes and always had pocket money. During recess (recreation, as they called it in the village school) I would buy most of the other kids in my class all kinds of candies, even food, for they had no money.
I am digressing; let me return to the main subject at hand, abandonment and anger. The issue is that I was angry because I was in pain and felt that the universe of God and man did not help me out of my pain and therefore people had no right to tell me what to do for they did not help me out of my pain.
When I read A course in miracles it says that anger is never justified. It says that anger is predicated on the grounds that people did something bad to you; it says that the world is a dream and what people did to you were done in a dream hence have not been done. Since what you see people do to you on earth is done in a dream and has no effect on you, for it has not been done, you should forgive them.
It says that your real self is the son of God; your real self is always in God, protected and safe; he is not in body for he is part of the unified spirit folks call God.
Despite the seeming evils folks do to each other on earth, in the dream, our real selves is said to be holy, innocent, sinless and guiltless.
Well, the book said that my anger is not justified because no one has really done anything bad to me; I had not been abandoned by God and man; it says that I am always in God but while in him I choose to sleep and in my sleep dream that I am separated from God and now live in body; I am still loved by God and man; I am taken care of by God and man. Even the bad that I see people do to me, if interpreted from the Holy Spirit is designed for me to overlook them and in doing so become saved.
I stopped right there and thought about what the book is saying. Initially, it seemed to be talking arrant nonsense but as I thought about its thesis it made eminent sense to me!
If the world is a dream (quantum physics says that our universe is a three dimensional universe and that there are infinite universes, each with its own dimensions and all of them are in one place!) it follows that my physical pains is not real; my pain takes place only in dreams and what takes place in dreams have not taken place in reality.
In reality I am spirit and in spirit I am not in body and what I see happen to me in body has not happened to me. White folks discrimination that I see happen to me has not happened to me, for it took place on earth, in a dream; no one has, in effect, discriminated against me.
The book added kudos to its thesis by saying that the world is our individual and collective dream hence we are collectively responsible for what happens to us.
On earth, in the dream, those who did to you what your ego calls good or bad did it to you according to your wish. You want to experience what other people, good or bad, did to you. The dreamer is responsible for his dream; nothing you do not want to experience enters your dream.
Since people did to you what you want to experience why do you feel angry at them, the book asks you?
The book asks you to overlook the dream; it asks you to forgive the dream and love the dreamers. Overlook what other people do to you on earth and love their real selves, the Christ in them.
All these seem to make sense to me. Then I asked: why did I give me a crummy, pained body to feel the way I felt, especially in childhood when I was in excruciating pain? Why did I ask my father to send me to his village at age eight to make me feel abandoned by him hence justify my life long anger at him (I did not forgive my father for sending me to his Igbo village to go live with those that even at age eight I considered primitive folk).
I did it to me to experience life in body and feel pain; in feeling pain I feel that I am body hence deny my spirit self; in identifying with body I separated from spirit and denied the reality of spirit (as I did in adolescence when I rejected religion).
A course in miracles tells me that in reality there is no one in body and that I am not in body and that there is no earth and that I am not on earth; it says that body and earth are mere dreams that I chose to enter and if I want to I can awaken from them and know myself as not in body and not on earth; therefore, I do not have to be angry at God and man for doing anything to my body, a body that does not exist!
This is what the book teaches. At first, what it teaches seems like loads of nonsense, bullshit, until I had mystical experiences that took me to non-material spheres, to the world of light forms and beyond and thereafter I recognized that the book makes a different kind of sense, not our usual ego sense but the sense of the Holy Spirit.
From my mystical experiences I learned that I am not body hence what was done to my body and ego was done in dreams and has not been done. Therefore, as the good book says, anger is not justified at those I see do bad things to me on earth, in the dream for they have done nothing to me.
Even when something was done to my body and ego, the book says that I chose them to experience whatever I experienced and therefore I am not a victim.
A course in miracles says that I choose whatever happens to me on earth, in the dream. This type of logic has made it impossible for me to justify anger at those I see doing bad things to me.
For example, at Nigerian Internet forums there are Idiot Igbos who specialize in verbally abusing folks. If they verbally abused me when I had not accepted a metaphysics that asks me to forgive them I would have gone after them and taken them down. I do not care if they crawl into their mother's filthy vaginas and hide in their mothers' bloody wombs, I would reap their mothers' stomachs open and drag them out and dash their idiot heads at the nearest rock.
But now their abuses merely amuse me, for I know that they are done in a dream state and have not been done. Besides, I called for their verbal abuses by trying to teach them an alternative way of living. If I had left them alone they would not have verbally abused me.
In effect, I asked them to verbally abuse me; I am not their victim for even in the dream I asked them to do to me what they did to me. In time I learned that their abuses are like water off my skin and do not matter.
Anger, as A course in miracles teaches, is never justified if one accepts that what is done on earth is done in a dream and has not in fact been done. People who seem to have abandoned me, attacked me did so in a dream and in reality have not done so.
In reality we all remain as God created us: spirit beings, not egos in bodies.
If life in body is not a dream and there is no bodiless dreamers, since the earth gives us enormous pain it is better that we destroyed the earth for it does not matter and there is no need to keep people suffering in body.
But if the earth is a dream then let people dream on in body and ego; for even if you destroy their body based civilization they can just reinvent other bodies to dream on earth with.
Thus, let people dream on until they are ready to awaken from their dream of separation and know that they are part of unified spirit self.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 19, 2017
Listen, if anything that I do not want to experience can happen to me, say, you can do bad things to me that I did not want to experience, you can say whatever you want the universe is unfair to me and if the universe is unfair God does not exist.
God can only exist if there is justice in the universe.
Justice in the universe requires me to experience only what I want to experience.
If Arab and white folks can choose and enslave Africans and if some Africans can kidnap some Africans and sell them to Arabs and Europeans, that is, do to those enslaved Africans what they did not want to experience there is no justice for them in the universe hence there is no God, for God can only exist if there is justice in the universe.
Why is this view important? It is important because it is my general philosophy; I had reached that view during my teenage years. Since I believed that what I did not like tended to happen to me I concluded that there is no justice in the universe hence no God. As a result, I rejected the idea of God and called myself agnostic.
A course in miracles expresses a philosophy that made me rethink my agnosticism; it says that nothing can happen to the individual that he does not want to experience. Because it says what I already said is the basis for justice and God: that it is only if what the individual wants to experience happens to him that there is justice in the universe, therefore, what it says agrees with me hence I accept it as a guiding philosophy, albeit in a poetic form.
So, do I only experience what I want to experience? At the conscious level I do not always experience only what I want to experience. What other people do affect me. As a black man, I am adversely affected by the laws made by white racists.
At the subconscious level, I tend to believe that what other people do to me that seem to be what I do not want to experience at the conscious level is really what I unconsciously want to experience.
At first this seemed like a rationalization for the injustice that I experience in the world, as my conscious mind tricking itself into reconciling itself to the injustices of the world by saying that I desired to experience them. After much thinking I came to the conclusion that it is not mere rationalization but the truth!
Does this mean that I like it when other people do what to my conscious mind seem bad to me? Of course not. Like most people I resent what my conscious mind construes as injustice and feel angry. I feel angry at bad things happening to me and often lash out at perceived purveyors of the bad.
I am what is called alpha male; I am extremely aggressive so you do not want to do bad things to me for I would hit you and do so with the intention of having you die. And your death would mean nothing to me since I see people as living for nothing. I see people as mere animals who are eating and reproducing and other than that are nothing; therefore, defending myself by killing you would not make me lose sleep; your death is the death of an animal and that is all there is to it.
The point is that I am as defensive as any human being. In our world we are defensive and set up a judicial system to defend us, to put bad people into jails and prisons so as to protect us.
We set up governments and have police and military to protect us from those who could harm us; the world is a defensive place, never forget that reality if you are tempted to harm other people for they will defend themselves or have the constituted political authorities to do so for them. If you want to be alive respect every person you see, do not harm anyone.
Yet, something tells me that at a different level we asked those who did bad things to us to do so; that we did so to be defensive towards them and eventually learn defenselessness.
Defenseless is the same as forgiving, overlooking the bad other people do to you from the realization that you asked them to do so and that they did nothing real to you since the world is a dream and what we do in it is done in a dream.
No one has attacked you despite you seeing attacks on you in the dream, the world. We all remain innocent despite the apparent evils we do on earth for they were done in dream settings; we have not changed ourselves into dream figures, separated ego selves; we remain as God created us, his sons: formless, eternally unified spirits with God and with each other.
Look, I tend to believe that I wanted to experience racism and America's racist environment. Why would I want to experience discriminatory behaviors from Americans? This is a good question.
I believe that this world is the opposite of love; we came here to experience the opposite of love. In the spirit of experiencing anti-love I exposed myself to racism, which is the opposite of love.
By being in a racist environment I am experiencing an unloving environment. In so doing I met the desire to experience the opposite of love, what I came to this world to experience.
Having experienced the opposite of love that I came to this world to experience I then realized that love is sanity and that the opposite of love is insanity.
That is, I learned that I made a mistake in separating from love, from unified state to go experience the opposite of love, opposite of union.
That is, I learned that I need to end the journey to separation; the fall from grace (separation from God is fall from grace), the descent into darkness was a mistake.
Having accepted that this world of separation, the opposite of love and opposite of union is a mistake I began learning about love, my return to love and union, what folks call the journey back to God.
When I love me and all people, that is, when I unify with all people I feel oneness with them and feel total peace and joy; I return to the bliss that is our home in heaven, in eternity.
I am saying that I chose to experience the opposite of love hence contrived to have bad things happen to me and experience them and from such experience learn the need to love and return to union.
In effect, the bad things that happened to me on earth that seem like they are not my wish, such as discriminatory treatment in America's work place was what I wanted to experience so as to return to love.
This is what I believe and it is what A course in miracles teaches. Since A course in miracles teaches what I already believe then I accept it; in fact, for all intents and purposes I might as well have written it.
What I write on metaphysical matters is totally congruent with what Helen Schucman wrote in A course in miracles and what our senior brother Joshua Emmanuel Ben Joseph taught 2000 years ago in Palestine.
All teachers of God teach the same message albeit in different languages; Jesus taught in parables, Helen taught in poetic form, and I teach in simple prose. If you understand one of us you have understood the others. Some learn from reading prose (and will learn from me), others learn from poetry (they learn from Sister Helen) and others learn from parables (they learn from Brother Joshua).
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 18, 2017
The word fake, that which is not real, has probably been around for as long people are around; however, it gained currency during the 2016 US presidential election cycle. Suddenly, social media was inundated with what they called fake news. All kinds of fake news were spread about Hillary Clinton; she was presented as a murderer who had murdered many associates and anyone who stood on her way just so she gets and retains power.
Donald Trump took to calling the stalwarts of America's mainstream media, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN fake news outlets. Any news other than those that came from FOX News to Donald is fake news. Indeed, when he had his beef with one of FOX's talk show stars, Megan Kelly, he also called that network fake news purveyor.
Simply stated, these days everywhere you look the word fake news stares you in the face. That got me thinking about the word, fake. Then I had an insight: America itself is a fake country; more importantly, America's democracy is a fake democracy!
Democracy is generally defined as rule by all the people in a specific human polity. The term democracy originated from Athenian Greece. There, the men who were not slaves gathered to make laws and policies that affected them.
Later, the growing sizes of human polities, from small city states to large nation states with millions of people spread out in thousands of miles made it necessary for democracy to be redefined; instead of all people participating in making their laws they elected their representatives to go make their laws for them; thus, we went from participatory democracy to representative democracy.
According to its 1787 Constitution, the United States of America is supposed to be a representative democracy. However, in reality, America has never had a real democracy although it calls itself a democracy. Right from its inception rulership was restricted to a small ruling circle.
During the pre and post-revolutionary era it was the rich plantation farmers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Monroe (and the Boston Brahmins like John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams) that ruled America. In the 1820s General Andrew Jackson injected populism into America's politics but even then it was the people electing the 1812 war hero who promised them heaven on earth.
America has always been ruled by the propertied and moneyed class. All that happened was that white men were given the opportunity to choose from a slate of rich white men to rule them.
Rule by the few propertied class is called oligarchy; rule by the rich is called a plutocracy. America has always been ruled by the few rich hence is either an oligarchy or plutocracy or both.
As Americans are ruled by the few the majority of Americans are deceived into believing that they are selecting their representatives to go to Washington or state houses or county houses or city offices to go make their laws and policies for them.
There is no democracy in America; what America has is sham democracy. Consider that to run for the presidency you pretty much need a billion dollars to do so; to run for senator you need ten millions dollars; to run for congress you need five million dollars; to run for governor you need five million dollars and so on.
How many Americans have that kind of money? It is the top one percent of the population that have the right amount of seed money and can raise funds to supplement what they have that are able to run for public offices.
In addition to the high cost of campaigning for offices are the shenanigans that America from its inception has indulged in. At first there were slaves and poor whites who were not allowed to vote. After the civil war black folks were given the right to vote. Thereafter, the Ku Klaus Klan was formed to intimidate black folks and prevent them from voting.
There are such political maneuverings as gerrymandering; gerrymandering was used to have safe districts for white representatives and prevent the election of minority persons to Congress.
In the South they had such shenanigans as requiring literacy tests, poll taxes and those were designed to prevent black folks from voting.
As we talk, states ruled by Republicans require voters to show government issued IDs to be able to vote; that requirement was designed to prevent black folks from voting because many black folks do not have such ID cards.
Of all the industrialized Western countries voter turnout rate in the USA is lowest (about 50% during presidential elections and often about 20% in local elections).
All kinds of deliberate efforts are made to discourage Americans from voting. One would think that in a real democracy efforts would be made to encourage the people to go out and vote.
A country that does all kinds of things to prevent a significant part of its population from voting and even then those who vote are voting for the few who have the resources to mount campaigns is a country with fake democracy.
America is a fake democracy masquerading as a democracy!
I am not as naive as to assume that there are better polities than America in our extant world; there are no countries out there where the masses actually rule themselves. Everywhere a few rule the many. Putin and his kleptocratic oligarchs rule Russia.
Nor should the masses rule themselves! The masses are often as dumb as door knobs; they may not even know what is good for them and vote against their self-interests.
Just look at the most recent election in the USA were white working class folks voted for a narcissistic billionaire whose forte is scamming people to get what he wants and then not giving a hoot about them.
Poor whites elected Donald Trump the con artist and the first thing he did is take away the health Insurance that Obama gave them and gives the money he saved from withdrawing the subsidies that Obama used to provide insurance to the masses to his billionaire friends.
The great scammer just submitted a budget to Congress that would gut all the money spent on poverty programs, such as providing poor students with food at school and food on wheels for the elderly.
The scammer is shifting $54 billion dollars from other programs to defense spending. Guess what? Contracts will be given to his friends to supply the weapons that the department of defense would spend that money on.
The magician also said that he is going to request $1 trillion dollars to be spent on infrastructure building and $26 billion on building the wall on the US southern border. The contracts for doing these constructions, of course, would go to his family members and friends!
Most weekends, the fake president flies to what he calls his southern White House in Florida, his Mara Lago estate and that costs tax payers about $183 million dollars a year.
His wife and son stay back in New York, ostensibly for his ten years old son, Barron, to complete school. In the meantime, it costs the citizens of New York about a $1 million dollars a day to protect that woman, Melanie, and son living at Trump Tower.
In the meantime, Ali Baba is cutting programs like the National Endowment for the Arts, funds for Public Broadcasting and Medicaid for the poor and scientific research (including environmental science).
Apparently, take from the American taxpayers and give it to your family members and friends is the man's governing philosophy!
The Donald is simply not a friend of the poor but bamboozled the poor into thinking that he is their friend; the great scammer has just scammed America's poor. In effect, the masses often vote against their best interests.
Therefore, the masses should not be allowed to rule the human polity. Only those with information (with a minimum of bachelor's degree) and who are naturally intelligent should govern the human polity.
As Plato recognized, government should be in the hands of philosopher kings, for now Plato's philosopher kings could be construed as the top five percent of the population, the well-educated and intelligent segment of society. Ninety five percent of humanity are simply too dumb to govern themselves. This is simply the truth; to say otherwise is to engage in silly politically correct statements meant to appeal to the feelings of the poor working class.
I am not a wild eyed democrat; I characterize myself as a believer in aristocracy and technocracy, if by that is meant the rule of the best and the brightest; my ideal human polity is ruled by the best human beings who rule for the benevolence of all the citizens, not for their self-centered interests.
In sum, America is not a democracy; actually, the best way to characterize the USA is to say that she is ruled by a brutal dictatorship that managed to veil itself. I call the rulers of America velvet dictators.
For our present purpose, what America has is a fake democracy.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 18, 2017
This paper aims at accomplishing two objectives: explain the nature of leadership in broad terms; look at Nigerian leadership and suggest ways to transform Nigerian leadership from its present negative state to positive state. The reader should glean useful information on the nature of leadership and examine whether the suggested solutions to Nigeria’s leadership problem is useful.Throughout human existence people have practiced leadership within their groups, big or small. There have always been people who initiate activities and gather people to do them with them. Indeed, if you observe children even before age ten you will see some of them initiate activities, such as want to play football, get ball and get other boys to play with them. People have acted as leaders for as long as human beings existed. However, people took leadership for granted and did not write much about it. It was only in the twentieth century especially from the 1970s forward that people began to write extensively on leadership and may be leaders; what this paper did is put on paper what people already know about leaders; for training purposes it is necessary to have information on leadership in writing.
TRANSFORMATION OF NIGERIA’S NEGATIVE LEADERS TO POSITIVE LEADERS
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
For as long as I can remember Nigerians have been saying that the problem with their country is bad leaders; they seem to believe that if they have good leaders that their country would be much, much better than it is; indeed, some Nigerians believe that if the country had had good leaders that it would be at the level of the Asian tigers in economic development.
Many Nigerians believe that they are cursed with bad leaders and that that is what is preventing them from moving forward in economic and political development. Thus, they keep praying and hoping for the day when good leaders would come to rescue them. Hope springs eternally in the human heart, they say.
In the meantime, when given the opportunity to elect good leaders Nigerians invariably elect what they themselves call crummy leaders; their legislators and executives at Abuja (capital city) and the various state governing circles are said to be clueless leaders.
Clearly, Nigeria has a leadership problem. But instead of hoping for good leaders to drop out of the sky and do the needful thing why doesn’t every Nigerian become a good leader? Why doesn’t each Nigerian become the good leader he is yearning for?
Chinua Achebe (1984) wrote a pamphlet called “The trouble with Nigeria”; he said that the trouble with Nigeria is bad leadership. Why didn’t he try to become the good leader he was asking for?
Why are Nigerians always waiting for others to come lead them to the Eldorado they are seeking instead of becoming the good leaders that they seem to be asking for?
Clearly, the leaders in Nigeria are self-centered leaders; they are mostly in office for what they can get for their selves; they want to steal as much money as is possible from the people and national treasury. They want to steal enough money so that they can consider themselves Nigerian big men.
They buy the accoutrements and paraphernalia of bigmanism; each Nigerian big man builds a mansion in his village, a mansion in the city (both probably with no running waters or constant electrical supply and certainly no paved streets in from of them), buy big imported cars, wear flowing robes and those make them seem like very important persons.
Nigerian leaders see their important offices as what makes them important persons; their desire for prestige makes them seek public offices; to be called president or governor or senator etc. makes the Nigerian feel prestigious.
The Nigerian leader does not derive sense of importance from the good works that he actually does for the people but from merely seeming a very publicly important person.
Nigerian leaders are negative leaders; negative leaders are self-centered and corrupt leaders.
Positive leaders, on the other hand, seek public offices because of their desire to serve the people; they see problems and want to solve them; they want public office to use it to serve the people; they are servant leaders’ not just important persons.
Positive leaders are humble human beings who serve their people whereas negative leaders are egotistical persons chasing after their ego shadows.
Nigerian leaders are generally lacking in humility; they are very narcissistic and actually do not accomplish anything for the people.
True leaders set goals, visions, dreams, objectives and purposes to which they are working towards attainment. They get people, followers (each of whom can act as a leader at any time) to help them in attaining the vision they set for their society or work organization. See Gardner, 1986.
Nigerians construe leadership in global terms; they see leaders as their president or governor. Actually, that is not only how leaders are construed.
Leaders are found in the family, in the work place, in education, in community organizations and in just about every unit of society. You do not have to be the president to be a leader; you can be a leader in your family, your church, your school, and your community social organizations and so on.
Leaders are found in action arenas, not just in politics. You just have to understand what leaders do and do it in the area that you want to exercise leadership in to be a leader.
Leaders are persons who see problems in their world and want to solve them; they come up with goals and objectives that in their opinions can solve the problems they identified; they are motivated by the purpose of solving the problems they see around them; they are goal and task oriented and usually are good at interpersonal relationships, for goals are achieved through people.
Leaders mobilize people (human resources) and get the capital resources (money) with which they go about the business of doing what they want done in their society. See Kast, 1974.
Positive leaders do not seek public offices because such offices make them seem very important persons, as is mostly the case with those who call themselves leaders in Nigeria.
A leader is a person who in a unit of society is solving problems for society. So, in what area of society are you are a leader in?
WHAT DO LEADERS DO?
One of America’s best writers on Leadership, John W. Gardner (1963/1986), defined leadership by what leaders do. According to him, leaders perform the following ten functions: Envisioning, Affirming Values, Motivating, Managing, Achieving Workable Unity, Explaining, Serving as Symbols, Representing the Group, Renewing and building leadership teams.
These ideas were expatiated on by Eugene B. Habecker (2006), in his book “Rediscovering the soul of Leadership”. In fact, it is reading Habecker’s book that motivated me to write this article.
In the past, I had written quite a bit on leadership, including my book, The Art of Leadership for Africans, and moved on to other subjects that interested me but recently fooling around with the subject of leadership I came upon Habecker’s book.
Let me briefly explain Dr. Gardner’s ideas in my own words (Dr. Gardner was the Secretary of the American Department of Health and Human Services).
Leaders see problems and or opportunities in their society and come up with ideas on how to respond to them. They posit visions, dreams, goals and objectives on how to respond to perceived issues, what is to be done to deal with identified problems and or take advantage of identified opportunities.
You have to have clearly stated goals that you want to achieve and thereafter bring together people and seek money and materials needed to accomplish those goals; goals are attained with human labor and capital.
If you have no clearly stated goals that you want to achieve you are not going to bother setting up human work organizations needed in attaining your goals.
Goals give people a sense of purpose and direction; purposive behavior requires tasks to be accomplished; if you have no vision, no dream you are not likely to have the energy to do anything purposeful.
Leaders give human groups goals and objectives that give them purpose to work towards. Without visions there is laziness and lack of directed behaviors.
People are value oriented creatures; people generally do that which they value, what they feel is important in their lives.
Leaders help to articulate values, what is worth doing in the group and sell them to the people to go do them. As people are engrossed in doing whatever they are doing they often lose sight of why they are there; leaders continually reaffirm why the work organization was put together, what they exist to accomplish; you have to continually reaffirm why you are there and doing what you are doing and sell that idea to the workers, the people.
Human beings are easily discouraged; they need to be continually motivated, given pep talks on why what they are doing is very important.
Leaders find ways to encourage people to do their best in doing whatever they are brought together to do. Rewarding those who do what they are brought together do with praises, money or positions are useful ways of encouraging people; often times just telling people that they are doing a good job is all that they need to hear to do their jobs well.
One of the worst things that you can do is being critical of work groups; criticism destroys self-confidence and discourages people from doing their best.
Nigerians rather enjoy putting each other down, destroying their people’s self-confidence and this probably contributes to their inability to work hard; many Nigerians are so discouraged that instead of seeking pride in their work they seek ways to steal from their work places.
Leaders find ways to make people have positive self-esteem and confidence in themselves; leaders help to give people the belief that what they are doing is extremely useful for their group’s welfare.
People want to feel that what they are doing is the most important things in the world; leaders give them that feedback on a continuing basis.
Leaders often act as managers. Managers are people who, on a day to day basis, use human beings and material to actually accomplish organizational group goals. Trained managers understand a bit of social psychology and people’s group behavior in general. See Katz and Kahn, 1978.
It helps if managers took classes in social psychology, organizational behavior, Human resources, finance, accounting, budgeting, basic economics, general management, production management, customer care, basic computers and Internet; in other words, managers need to have something like the equivalent of an MBA given by American Business schools. Whereas it is not necessary to have formal training in business, it is absolutely necessary that leaders have such business information, even if it is self-taught.
Leaders may or may not also be managers but it helps if they understand managerial functions, such as planning, setting goals and recruiting the right personnel to help them achieve their goals, having action plans for achieving the goals, having evaluative mechanics for ascertaining that the goals are achieved, having corrective actions plans, doing budgeting and keeping good accounting records on how their organization’s moneys are spent, producing and reading monthly financial statements on their organizations; understanding accounts receivables and payables and keeping accounting journals on all moneys that come to the business and how they are spent.
Planning, monitoring, controlling, recruiting and generally leading work groups is absolutely necessary in using people to attain organizational goals. Many businesses flounder due to poor money management skills.
Money management skills are especially needed in Nigeria where folks literally seek jobs to go steal from their employers!
Supervising employees to make sure that they do what they were hired to do, training them to do their jobs, evaluating them on a regular and timely basis and letting go of those who do not do their jobs efficiently are critical managerial skills.
Achieving Workable Unity
People are individuals and, as such, have different values; if you bring people together and want to use them to work together and towards stated common goals you must figure out a way to get them to put aside their different values so as to work together and pursue the attainment of the goals of the work organization. Obtaining work unity is a basic requirement for supervisors, managers and leaders.
If you cannot give a group of people a spirit of unity and team spirit you have no business managing them and you are not a leader of people. Leaders give people a sense of unity and oneness, not divisiveness.
Work groups need constant reminders of why they were brought together and what they are there to do; often times people lose sight of why they were hired and go do their own things.
Leaders get people to keep focused on doing what they were brought to do. If you are brought together to build buildings, as civil engineering firms do, the leader must get the attention of his engineers, architects and construction workers focused on building the best buildings around and prevent them from always talking politics, as if politics is the only game in town.
A hospital must have doctors and nurses talk medicine and medical technologies and not always jabber on politics that they are not trained in. Nigerian medical personnel talk politics instead of the latest medical technologies and what they are doing to provide their patients the best medical care in the world. Nigerian hospitals are some of the worst in the world; Nigerians who have money go overseas to seek medical treatment (as I write the Nigerian head of state. Mohanmadu Buhari, is in London seeking medical treatment).
Serving as symbols
The leader is the symbol of what the work organization and or group is there to do. Mention the leader’s name and the people immediately know what his group is there to do. Good leaders so live their work goals and objectives that people simply associate them with their work.
Mention Bill Gates and folks think of computer software; mention Steve Jobs and people think of electronic contraptions; mention a Nigerian leader and people think of a thief!.
Representing the Group
The leader represents what the group stands for in the general community, nation and world. Rex Tillerson, the former Exon chief executive officer, represented Exon Oil Company (and now he is supposed to represent United States foreign policy; that is a bit of a stretch, isn’t it?).
Good leaders know that they are the image of their organizations in the community and the world as a whole. If a leader is corrupt, as Nigerian leaders are, when folks think of them they think of corruption and, therefore, do not have respect for them.
Leaders constantly renew the vows that brought them and their workers together in their work organizations. What are people there to accomplish, are they doing so or have they branched off to new avenues that do not contribute to achieving the original work goals?
Building Leadership Teams
Leaders build excellent leadership and management teams; these teams are likeminded people who come together to plan and achieve what their organizations are there to achieve.
It is necessary for leaders, those who had the vision that set up their work organizations to educate and sell that vision to new employees; managers must be trained to help the organization to accomplish its goals.
Leadership and Management teams are critical for organizational success and survival; without them organizations collapse.
Think about a contemporary Nigerian work organization, say, those working in a given government bureaucracy; the employees may not even know why they are there other than to steal from the government and the public; is it then any wonder that these government organizations are unproductive and would collapse if there is no oil money to keep them afloat.
Democracy and Accountability of leaders
Political leaders in democratic dispensations are expected to account to those they lead what they do; they are, in the first place, elected by the people and mandated to do certain things and are held responsible for doing them. Every so many years such leaders go to the polls to reobtain mandate from the people to lead them. See Peters and Waterman, 1982.
During campaigns and elections potential leaders challenge their present leadership, point out what they did wrong and show how they could do things better.
Expecting to be challenged and or voted out of office, leaders in democratic countries feel their feet held to the fire and constantly try to do what they believe that their people desire and would approve in them otherwise they are out of their elected jobs.
This is certainly not the case with Nigerian and African political leaders. Assuming that Nigerian leaders are elected, which is usually done through rigging elections, they really do not feel that they should account to anyone what they do in office. As far as they are concerned, the people do not deserve to be given accounting of what they did.
As they see it, they bribed their ways to political offices and are in office to recoup their money and make some profits on their capital outlay for getting to office.
The Nigerian politician has no respect for his constituents. In fact, he has total contempt for those he presumably leads.
The Nigerian politician knows that Nigerians are cowards; Nigerians are so fearful of harm and death that they would not rise up to challenge their thieving leaders and try to chase them out of offices. Just hire rootless police and military and if the people act out you kill a few of them and the rest of Nigerians stay quiet and out of fear and desire to live at all costs tolerate their criminal leaders.
Leaders do not respect their people if their people are too fearful and are not willing to rise up and challenge or even kill the leaders. It is only when people are willing to fight for their liberty and if needs be die doing so that their leaders respect their wishes.
Most of Nigeria’s revenue comes from oil money. Therefore, the people really do not maintain their government through paying taxes (Nigerians avoid paying taxes).
Because the money for governance in Nigeria comes mostly from oil, the leaders do feel obligated to explain how they spent that money to the people. After all it is not the people’s money, it is money that nature gave to them so the leaders do not feel moral qualms from stealing it; they are not stealing from real human beings but from nature.
Simply stated there is no accountability in Nigerian leadership. Nigeria is the empire of thieves and every Nigerian knows it.
Normally, leaders are supposed to be responsive to their people’s desires. In democratic countries leaders study their people’s aspirations and campaign for office with promise to satisfy those desires.
Nigerian leaders do not even bother telling the people what they would do for them when they are elected to office. They have no blueprint and platforms of what it is they are going to accomplish for the people. They simply want to be elected to go steal money and every person knows that fact so no one expects the politicians to be responsive to the people’s needs. The people’s needs be damned!
As far as Nigerian leaders are concerned there are no people to be responded to. The Nigerian politician has no sense of responsibility to do certain things for his people and his people do not expect him to do anything for them.
The people even have to bribe the Nigerian politician to spend their governments’ money for projects in their districts, such as pave roads in their area, give them pipe borne water or electricity or pick up garbage from their towns or build a school in their town or build a health clinic in their town.
At best Nigerians expect their politicians to go steal from the national treasury and come give them some of the loot.
Politicians steal and become rich and their people make them chiefs! Nigeria is a strange land, indeed. Perhaps, Nigerians are not really human beings; perhaps, they are aliens from a different planet?
Nigerian politicians steal and have money and give themselves weird titles such as his Excellency, Dr. Professor and Chief Do-nothing.
Ordinary Nigerians masquerade around with silly titles, such as Engineer Okere, Architect Njoku, Permanent Secretary Adewale and Finance Minister Alhaji Mecca. Brandishing their occupational titles is just about all that Nigerians live for. They want to seem important in the eyes of their fellow Nigerian denizen but do something for the people is not their goals.
In democratic polities’ leaders struggle to earn the trust of the people they lead; they earn trust by doing what the people expect them to do and by being as much above board as is possible.
In the thieving jamboree called Nigeria, the leaders do not work to earn the peoples trust and the people do not trust their leaders. The operating rules of engagement are stealing and pretending to be honest persons. Who has ever heard of the term integrity and honesty in Nigerian leaders?
The Nigerian politician does not expect his people to respect him. In fact, he does not even listen to what the people say about him.
The people who bother at all can call the Nigerian politician a thief and even write about it and he would not sweat over such negative name-calling. He has grown thick skin and shines off whatever negative names the people call him. The Nigerian politician is a criminal and exhibits the anti-social personality structure of not giving a fig over what people think of him. Sometimes one wonders whether only sociopaths and psychopaths go into Nigerian politics.
The Nigerian politician knows that Nigerians are cowards and will not do anything to chase him out of office so he ignores their powerless name calling and keeps stealing as much as he could. The Nigerian leader is immune to negative put downs; in fact, upon reading in the local rags where people call him a thief he laughs!
Why take the name caller seriously when he or she probably is also a thief? Let him who does not live in a glass house throw stones, the Nigerian politician tells his self. Before you complain about the sand in other people’s eyes remove the mountain in your eyes, is the idea. Let him who does not take bribes in Nigeria complain about bribe taking politicians.
Corruption exists everywhere in this world but most polities try to limit it to a manageable percent of the population. Perhaps, most countries can handle it if five percent of their people are corrupt but if ninety five percent of them are corrupt the system breaks down, as is the case in Nigeria.
Nigeria is a royal mess; the country is a madhouse, a bedlam; Nigeria is not a country of rule of law although Nigerian politicians are the first to tell you that they have the rule of law and follow certain procedures demanded by democracy; it is all for show but not really done.
Obviously, to bring about changes in Nigeria the leaders must be made accountable for their stewardship, made trustworthy and responsive to the people. The hope of this paper is that may be somewhere in the future Nigerians would start transforming their leaders from the thieves that they currently are to positive leaders who served the people’s social interests.
In the present anyone who called Nigerian politicians true leaders is living in fantasyland, not in the Nigerian real world.
I am not naïve enough to try to change Nigerians and make them become ideal leaders; it is silly illusion to expect criminals to suddenly become saints. If Nigerians improved just a little bit and begin to seem like a country ruled by men of some integrity that is the best we can expect of them.
As they say, perfection is the enemy of the good. So, let us hope for some good in Nigerian leaders; no one is expecting them to be perfect leaders.
CORRUPTION AND THE NIGERIAN POLITICAL ECONOMY
It is rather difficult to ascertain when corruption became endemic in Nigeria or even when it started. One thing is for sure, Nigeria or the area now called Nigeria has always had a corrupt culture. As noted elsewhere, Africans have been selling their people to Romans, Arabs and Europeans for, at least, two thousand years. A people that sell their people are obviously a corrupt people. We shall proceed on the premise that Nigerians have always been a corrupt people; it is difficult to identify a period in their history when they were corruption free. See, Falola’s (2008) A history of Nigeria.
Nigeria’s written history began with the advent of British colonialism; we really do not know much about what transpired in Nigeria before the British came unto the Nigerian scene in the late nineteenth century.
Written history tells us that the British came to Northern Nigeria during the 1800s and saw a relatively well ordered feudal state. The Fulani under ‘Uthman Dan Fodio’ had conquered the various Hausa states in what is now called Northern Nigeria; Dan Fodio imposed Fulani rule over Hausas beginning in 1804. The Fulani leader modelled his empire after the Ottoman Empire; he called his self the Sultan of Sokoto. He appointed his lieutenants Emirs of major Hausa states, such as the Emir of Kano, Emir of Kaduna, Emir of Zaria and so on. This was a relatively stable way of governing the people so the first British colonial governor, Frederick Lugard decided to retain it and rule the people indirectly through their traditional rulers. The governor appointed what he called residents (in provinces) and district commissioners (in districts or counties); the residents and district officers worked with the emirs at Native Authority Administration to rule the people. The system worked out quite well.
In southeastern Nigeria, the land of Igbos, Lugard noticed that Igbos did not have traditional chiefs. Igbos ruled themselves by gathering in their village squares and make decisions on what to do in their villages; they were stateless people, for their system of governance did not go beyond village rule. See Isichi, 1976.
Lugard appointed warrant chiefs for each Igbo town and had them coordinate with his district commissioners or district officers to rule the people. In other words, Lugard replicated the indirect rule system that existed in the north to the South East. See, Afigbo, 1972.
In the West he used the Obas to rule the Yoruba’s, Edos and Uhrobos and Ishikiris.
An interesting phenomenon happened in the East. As soon as Lugard gave the people who had boasted that they had no chiefs and were independent, warrant chiefs, these new Igbo chiefs became inordinately proud of themselves and indeed began calling themselves monarchs (monarchs without kingdoms).
Igbo town chiefs became the most corrupt set of human beings on planet earth. To administer native rulings they demanded bribes; there was a set price for every activity that the people demanded from the chiefs and their police (Kotimas, aka court messengers). Alaigbo became corruption haven during the first few decades of the twentieth century. Apparently, similar level of high corruption took place in other parts of Nigeria. See, Uchendu, 1965.
Therefore, we can say that there has been corruption in Nigeria right from the first decades of the twentieth century. That corruption is now cultural for nothing is ever done in Nigeria without someone bribing someone.
The British administration prosecuted a few cases of corruption including the 1944 case against Nnamdi Azikiwe; Zik was accused of engaging in dubious collusion between a Lagos bank and his business enterprises.
In Western Nigeria Adelabu Adegoke was investigated for alleged corruption; the same was the case in Northern Nigeria.
Nigeria got its independence from Britain in 1960. The first government, led by Abubaker Tafawa Balewa (1960-1966), was overthrown in 1966 because the coupists alleged that it was too corrupt. Aguiyi Ironsi took over and was said to be an Igbo government and in July of that same year he was over thrown and Yakubu Gowon (1966-1975) took over.
The government in the East led by Odumegwu Ojukwu (1966-1970) refused to recognize the government of Gowon and as result there was a three years civil war. During the war Nigerians, in alignment with African practices of seeing their fellow Africans as not human beings, slaughtered Igbos and used starvation as a policy to get Igbos to quit the war. Several million Igbos were said to have been starved to death.
The government of Gowon was accused of corruption and was overthrown by Murtala Mohammed (1975-76). Mohammed appeared corruption free but nevertheless was quickly overthrown and his lieutenant, Olusegun Obasanjo (1976-1979) took over.
Obasanjo handed the government to a civilian elected government led by Shehu Shagari (1980-1984). Shagari was said to be corrupt and was overthrown by Mohammad Buhari.
Buhari was supposed to be dictatorial and was overthrown by Ibrahim Babangida. Babangida (1985-1993) was said to have practically stolen most of the oil revenue windfalls that came to Nigeria in the 1980s. By the time he was forced to give government to Shonekan the man was said to be a billionaire.
The feckless caretaker government of Shonekan was quickly overthrown by Sani Abacha (1993-1998). Abacha was said to have stashed billions of dollars all over the world. Abacha was a brutal doctor who killed whoever opposed him. He died under suspicious circumstances and Abdul Salami (1998-1999) took over.
Salami managed to write a US type constitution and handed the government to Obasanjo in 1999. Obasanjo (1999-2007) was freed from prison to be given the reins of power and today is reported to be one of the richest men in the world.
Apparently, Obasanjo maneuvered to prolong his rule but was prevailed upon to hand power to Musa Yaradua.
Musa Yaradua (2007-2010) was sickly and died soon and his feckless vice president, Goodluck Jonathan took over. Jonathan was called a clueless president; under him corruption was institutionalized as a way of life. The man said that corruption is not crime.
The present government of Buhari, yes that Buhari (2015- ), took over from Jonathan. He claims to be fighting corruption but everyone knows that the status quo remains the same; you still have to bribe police men and government officials if you want something done.
Corruption is now a way of life in Nigeria.
Does corruption affect Nigeria’s economic development? We do not have good records keeping or useful data in Nigeria but we can safely say that the billions of dollars redirected to private pockets would have built the infrastructure necessary to transform Nigeria from an agricultural state to a modern industrial state. See, Falola, 1985.
AFRICANS HAVE A SICKNESS OF THE SOUL
One of the mistakes people make on looking at Africans is to see them as mentally deficient human beings. For example, James Watson, the co-discoverer (with Francis Crick) of the DNA, looking at the mess that Africa is in, speculated that, perhaps, Africans are unable to govern themselves well because they are mentally deficient!
Those who do IQ tests routinely tell us that African Americans score by fifteen points less than white Americans (Orientals score by fifteen points more than white Americans).
Whereas no one has really done a thorough study of the intelligence of Africans in Africa, anecdotal evidence suggests that the average African scores at a level deemed mentally retarded in America (70 on the WISC and or Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales).
I think that these folks are wrong in their assessment of Africans as mentally challenged. I have related to Africans in person and taught them in my college classes in the USA. I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with Africans intelligence; they are as smart as other human beings.
If that is so then the question is: how come Africans seem to be unable to govern themselves correctly? All African countries under the Sahara desert are poorly governed (even North African countries, the Arab countries, are not particularly well governed; none of those is industrialized like Asian countries have become in a short period of time).
Let us not waste our times talking about Africans supposed deficient intelligence for they are as intelligent as other races; like in other races, of course, there are very smart Africans (those with IQ over 132) and very dumb Africans (those with IQ under 70) but the run of the mill African is not different from a white person or Asian person.
If that is the case the question is: how come Africans do not seem to be able to govern their people right? I have given this question a lot of thinking and come to certain conclusions. In the below paragraphs I will summarize what I have written at great length in other places.
I believe that the African has a sickness of the soul. The African is not mentally sick (oh, there are mentally ill Africans just as there are in other races) but is sick in his soul. Africans have a soul sickness. Here is why I came to this sad conclusion.
History shows us that in the Roman Empire Romans bought African slaves and used them to fight as gladiators, and fight animals and fight to death. Yes, Romans used Africans killing each other as entertainers.
That is to say that Africans were selling their people to white folks for as far back as the Roman Empire; that is, at least, two thousand years ago.
The Arabs bust into history with Mohammed founding Islam in 610 AD. We know that Mohammed had slaves, including African slaves.
Arabs took Egypt in 643 AD and thereafter swept across the Maghreb and got to Morocco and entered Spain in 711 AD. Some Arabs swept south and made contact with Africans and began buying African slaves.
Africans, in effect, were selling their people to Arabs from as long ago as the seventh century of our common era!
In Africa itself Africans sold their people to their fellow Africans. African big men often had hundreds of slaves. It is reported that when the Oba of Benin died thousands of life slaves were buried alive with him!
Africans have been selling their people to themselves, to white and Arab folks and to any comer who wished to buy Africans as slaves.
Those who sell their people have no regard for their people; Africans do not care and love their people.
I know that we can come up with all kinds of economic and sociological explanations as to why Africans sold their people but the fact is that a people who sold their people, for whatever reason, have a problem.
There is something wrong with a people who roamed around their continent capturing their people, marching them to the coast (as Olauda Equiano narrated in his eighteenth century book) and or marching them across the desert to sell them to Romans and Arabs. A people who find it easy to sell their people are a sick people!
Walter Rodney (1974) in “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” gave us explanations of how slavery was engineered by Europeans for their own good.
No rational and perceptive person doubts that Europeans benefited from the transatlantic slavery. Contemporary European and American wealth is probably mostly due to African slave labor. White men used African labor to do capital accumulation, money that was used to start the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century.
For five hundred years (1400-1900) Europeans used free African labor to build up their world. I am therefore not exonerating Europeans or Arabs for their sin in slavery. See, Chancellor Williams, 1992.
Please do not tell me that slavery existed in all races thus rationalizing Africans slavery. I know that the Vikings (700-1000 AD), for example, roamed around Europe capturing Europeans, especially women and selling them to Arab.
The Greeks had slaves who were whites; Romans had slaves who were mostly Germans. Asians had Asian slaves. Indeed, in India Hindus still treat Dravidians as slaves. The point is that slavery existed everywhere in the world but that does not make it justified.
Africans were particularly vicious in capturing their people and selling them into slavery. It should be noted that during the transatlantic slave trade at no time did the white man enter into interior Africa to go capture slaves, he did so only after the invention of the quinine in the mid-1800s (quinine prevented him from dying from mosquito bites).
The white man just parked his slave ships at the coast and had Africans go capture their people and bring them to the coast and sell them to him.
In what is now called Nigeria, the Efik at Calaba and the Ijaw at Bonny, for example, arranged for Igbos to have intra-tribal wars and capture war prisoners and sell those to them; indeed, they arranged for a segment of Igbos called Aro to recruit Igbo mercenaries (Abam and Abriba people) and have them roam around Igbo land capturing Igbos and marching them to the coast to be sold.
Aro was particularly heinous in devising macabre ways of obtaining slaves. They pretended to be judges and had Igbos bring their issues to them to be judged and those found guilty were sold into slavery. See, Kenneth Dike, 1956.
What was going on in Igbo land was taking place all over black Africa. In his book, The Scramble for Africa, Thomas Pakenham (1994) tells us how Africans captured their people and sold them to Arabs; Arabs who used them to work in their Indian islands plantations or sold them to other Middle Eastern countries such as Iran.
A people who did what Africans did and did not stop doing it on their own volition but because they were bribed to do so by the British who found a replacement trade for them (in oil palm and palm kernel) are a soul sick people.
A people who for over two thousand years that we have written records of were selling their people into slavery and as far as history is concerned made no other tangible contributions are a people with soul sickness.
Africans soul sickness has continued to the present. African leaders do not identify with their people but see them as those to be exploited, used and discarded.
No human being is as narcissistic and brutally callous as African leaders. African leaders honestly do not feel any kind of human sympathy for their people; they do not resolve to help their people. All they want to do is use them and when they are no longer useful discard them like rag dolls. To them their people are not human beings to be nurtured but things to be used and discarded like garbage.
You would be making a mistake to believe that African leaders are there to develop their people; no, they are there to use them and steal their wealth for their selves and do not give a damn that their people live in abject penury.
You see the picture of starving Africans, especially their children and those make you want to reach out and help Africans but such pictures apparently do not move callous African leaders to do something to feed their people.
Indeed, if the liberal do gooders in the West were to give African leaders economic aid for their people they would redirect them to their personal pockets and leave their people to die like they are rats.
This pathetic situation at one point led me to wonder if Africans are even human beings. I must say that there was time in my life when I considered Africans animals, not even sub-human beings, and wanted nothing to do with them. I did not even want to be close to them. I considered them too degraded to have them around me.
Later, I began thinking about why Africans do the dreadful things they do to themselves and discovered that they have soul sickness. We should not out of political correctness deny this reality.
Africans have soul sickness. We simply have to figure out a way to heal that soul sickness instead of denying its reality.
It is healed when Africans are taught that it is their duty and function to love and care for their people. At the moment they do not even know what the word care and love means.
In fact, if they see you talking about love they consider you a fool; instead, they want to hear you talk how best to hate and exploit Africans, especially if it has to do with people from different African ethnic groups.
Africans kill other Africans from different ethnic groups as if they are animals. As we talk, Fulani herdsmen are roaming around southern Nigeria killing Southern Nigerians. They simply slaughter them and apparently do not feel guilt or remorse from doing so. These people are amoral criminals and we do not know it!
What we need to do with Africans is not just teach them leadership and management skills, they have learned those from the Western schools they attended, but teach them how to behave like loving and caring human beings.
We have to figure out a way to reach the Africans dark soul and bring the light of love into that heart of darkness (I hate to use Joseph Conrad’s pejorative term).
The African soul is truly dark; Africa is truly the heart of darkness; we do not have to deny the obvious but must find a way to heal the sick African soul.
As we speak, Africans are still selling their people into slavery in Sudan and Mauritania; there are African slaves held by Arabs in those two countries.
Many people have a sense of pity for Africans because of their miserable living conditions but I do not. I tend to believe that wicked and evil people pay a price for their past and present evil.
I tend to believe that Africans are cursed by bad karma from selling their people and stealing from their people; I see the poverty in Africa as a consequence of Africans past and present evil behaviors (I define evil as any behavior towards another human being that is not meant to love him or her).
Instead of pitying Africans, I actually want them to make amends for their past and present evils. I want Africans to pay reparations to Afro-Arabs and to African Americans in the two Americas, North and South.
I suggest that, at least, 10% of each African country’s GDP be seized by an International organization and that money be used to help ex- African slaves in Arabia and America.
The enslavers, such as Arabs, White Americans and Europeans, too, must pay reparations to their ex-slaves. This African, Arab and Euro-American reparation must be made for a period of, at least, one hundred years.
The money is not to be given as handouts to the diaspora Africans but used to provide them with education from Kindergarten to university and provide them with health care and other public goods.
I believe that until Africans make amends for their criminal acts of selling their people into slavery that nothing will work out well for them. I understand that this view has no basis in science but that is my belief; call it superstitious but it is what I believe and stand by it. You don’t just go capture and sell your people and expect to have no negative consequences for your sinful behaviors.
FROM SELF CENTERED TO SOCIAL CENTERED LEADERSHIP
Leaders are human beings; as human beings they look like the human beings around them; individuals may be unique but not so unique that they are totally different from other individuals. People generally are like those around them.
Nigerian leaders are like the Nigerians around them. The apple does not fall far from the apple tree. If you want to understand Nigerian leaders you have to look at typical Nigerians, for Nigerians have typical patterns of behavior, personality.
Here is the Nigerian as I see him, which is probably how most people see him, even how he is seen by his self!
The Nigerian (and for that matter, the African) is totally self-centered.
All human beings, in childhood, begin out their lives self-centered; socialization enables them to internalize social norms that make them behave pro-socially and help other people.
Religion, inter alia, exists to help the people to care for one another. The Christian religion, for example, teaches its followers to love God with all their hearts and love their neighbor as themselves. Christianity teaches love and caring for people and forgiveness for those who harmed one.
Those who grew up in a Christian culture, such as Europeans (Europe has had Christianity for almost two thousand years) tend to override their natural inclination to care only for themselves with a little bit of caring for other people.
Nigerians were only exposed to Christianity in a little over a hundred years ago; Christianity has not had enough time in the African world to alter their natural self-centeredness.
The typical Nigerian is in society to care only for his self. What life means to him is to provide for his self and, perhaps, for his wife and children (his extended egos). He may have motivation to help out some people in his village but when push comes to shove he lives only for his self.
Only a little over a hundred years ago, typical Nigerians were roaming around capturing their people and selling them to White men at the Atlantic coast or to Arabs across the Sahara desert.
The Nigerian of yesterday who sold his people into slavery is not that much different from the Nigerian of today. The Nigerian of today, if he could, would actually kidnap his people and sell them into slavery; he does not do so because of international laws passed by the white man that forbid slavery. If you removed those laws, Africans would revert to selling their people into slavery.
Indeed, many of their criminals kidnap their people and hold them hostage until ransom money is paid to them before they are released or killed.
Nigerians live for their individual selves; they seldom think in terms of what is good for society as a whole.
A Nigerian big man would build a mansion in his village (with stolen money, of course) but he would not work to get his people to pay taxes and with that money the road in front of his house is tarred; instead, the road in front of his house is literally littered with garbage and he could hardly drive on it (when it rains and Nigerian roads turn into streams).
In their work place the Nigerian works to earn his daily bread but does not work to create jobs for the teaming masses of unemployed people around him.
I bet you that in the cities of Nigeria over fifty percent of the young people are unemployed and no one cares. Why should a Nigerian care for the welfare of other Nigerians? As long as he has a job, which he probably bribed to get, why should he care that other people do not have jobs?
Until some of the unemployed kidnap him and demand ransom money from him or kill him the Nigerian does not give a damn for his people; and if he is killed other Nigerian do not care after all he did nothing for them! They say that it served him right that he is killed by criminals!
Do you want a job in Nigeria, especially a government job? If so, you have to bribe for it. If you are stopped by the police you have to bribe him before he lets you go. To pick up a form from a government office you have to bribe for it; to get your passport renewed, even in faraway Washington DC, USA, the dirty and filthy Nigerians working at the Nigerian embassy demand a certain amount of bribe money from you.
Nigeria a is a place where no one cares for other people; Nigerians are like folks living in Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan, 1651) state of nature; each person is looking after his self-interests and no one looks after other people’s self-interests; folks steal money or take bribes and live well until other Nigerians set on them and kill them; Nigeria is a place where all are at war with all and consequently life is nasty, brutish and short (the life span of Nigerians is 42, and 88 in the USA).
NIGERIANS PURSUE SOCIAL ATTENTION AND ADMIRATION, NARCISSISM
Interestingly, having ignored caring for their neighbors, rich Nigerians seek attention and admiration from their neighbors. That is true, these people do not give a damn about the fate of other people yet they want to be seen by their people as very important persons, VIPs.
Nigerians are the most childishly egoistic and narcissistic human beings alive. With the jobs they got through bribery they buy fancy cars, build big houses, and buy flowing robes (Agbada/Baba Riga) and in those silly robes masquerade around as very important persons Those robes used to be Arab wear many centuries ago, that is Nigerians parade around in discarded Arab wears; Ijaws parade around in discarded Portuguese attire and bowler hats).
They bedeck their bodies in flowery robes and jewelry and in their infantile minds kind of think that their neighbors are admiring them as misters big stuff; the very neighbors they do not care to help are expected to admire them.
So, why should the neighbors see them as important persons if they do not help their neighbors? That is the most amazing behavior in Nigerians.
Clearly, what seems rational is for poor Nigerians to kill their big men for not helping them yet they admire those big men and those big men kind of see themselves as prestigious persons.
SEEKING GOVERNMENT JOBS TO BECOME PRESTIGIOUS PERSONS
Nigerians literally seek high level government jobs, say, the governorship, senator ship, or President for the opportunity to occupy prestigious positions and thereby get the people to see them as prestigious persons even though they are not working hard to help the people.
This is an amazing situation, to say the least. Big men who deserve contempt in their people’s eyes are actually seen as very important persons! They are very important garbage!
At the end of each month, the governor of each Nigerian state goes to Abuja, the capital, and collects whatever monthly money the federal government gives to him for his state and pockets most of it and the people see him as a very important person instead of chopping off his head as they should if they are real men. I tell you, Nigerians are an interesting breed of human beings; they stand reason on its head.
Nigerians are so afraid of harm and death that they tolerate the dreadful treatment that their leaders dish out to them; their leaders steal their money and they do not protest; they reason that if they protest their thuggish leaders would stick their goons’ squad (military and police) unto them to kill them. Not wanting to die they tolerate living like slaves.
They kind of expect the international community to come and fight and die for their liberty but not them fighting and dying for their liberty and social justice. These people are despicable people. Indeed, the question is this: are they even human beings? May be they are mere animals and we are wasting our time thinking that they are men who are capable of standing up for what is right, fight and die for it.
PURSUIT OF IMPORTANCE TO MASK THEIR EXISTENTIAL UNIMPORTANCE
You do not have to be a psychologist or philosopher to realize that human beings have consciousness and that their consciousness leads them to be aware that they are born, grow up, age and die. When they die their bodies rot and smell worse than feces. If buried their bodies are eaten by worms and bacteria.
Human bodies have no monetary value. If you cremate an adult human body you get a few pounds of ashes that have no monetary value.
Above all, despite their make belief religions human beings really do not know whether there is life after they die; for all they know the grave could be the end of their lives.
If we take the scientific approach towards people’s bodies we know that their bodies, like the bodies of animals and trees are composed of about 64 elements the chief of which are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, calcium, sodium, and phosphor and so on. Those 64 elements are composed of particles: electrons, protons and neutrons. Neutrons and protons are composed of quarks. Quarks were made from photons; electrons were made from photons; the entire human body was made from photons, light which came out from nowhere and nothingness during the big bang. That which came from nothing is nothing so the human body is nothing.
Human beings suspect that they are one giant nothing and that they have no existential worth and value; people suspect that they are big fat nothing and that they are living for nothing; they are food being prepared for worms.
People feel worthless and valueless; they feel that they are not special; the universe destroys them at will; earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes tsunamis, floods, draughts, tornadoes, virus, bacteria, fungi and other natural elements destroy people as if they have no value.
Human beings do not like their existential sense of nothingness and worthlessness; they try to deny it and thereafter pretend to have worth.
Everywhere human beings seek to convince themselves that they have worth and value. Much of human beings activities are designed to give them a sense of false worth.
You go to school and obtain education, seek and obtain a job and make money and obtain good social position and those kind of make you feel that you have worth.
Alas, you will still die and the body that you had literally enslaved yourself to working to provide for would be eaten by worms. The point is that human beings feel like they are nothing and seek worth.
Nigerians, Africans, African Americans and human beings in general feel like they are one humongous and ginormous nothing! They do not like their nothingness and mask it with their various pretenses of worth.
The Nigerian who seeks prestigious social position and wealth does so to make him seem important; he is trying to deny what is in his subconscious mind: a feeling that as flesh he is meat waiting to die and rot and smell like garbage.
You take daily bath, wear clean clothes, bedeck your body in fine jewelry but you are nothing but whited sepulcher! This is the human existential truth!
Given nature’s impersonality and toughness, Nigerians, like other human beings, feel weak and inferior and react with desire for false superiority; they feel unimportant and compensate with false worth. All these are understandable.
All human beings feel worthless and seek phony worth. But Nigerians seeking of worth is on a different level.
Human beings are arrogant, proud, vain and narcissistic to mask their underlying sense of unimportance but Nigerians take those desires of worth to a whole different level.
I can honestly say that I have not seen a humble Nigerians in my entire life. Nigerians are so proud that you wonder from what planet they come from, whether they are so ego defended that they do not know that the bodies they want you to admire are literally shit waiting to happen.
Listen, Nigerians are egoistic, proud, and self-centered; they are really a breed of human beings without insight into their miserable human nature.
Clearly, Nigerians need to be helped to understand human psychology a bit so that they learn that the individual is not his sham big ego that he thinks is godlike.
I often think that all Nigerians need long term psychotherapy to help shrink down their swollen egos; they are all big men who do not work to produce wealth but instead steal it or sell their people to get the money with which they seem to their primitive eyes that they are important persons.
Much of my recent writings are geared to helping people to understand their egos and shrink them down to normal level.
For now, let me just observe that Nigerians are totally egotistical and narcissistic and, as such, live only for their individual selves and not for other people.
We have to re-socialize Nigerians and get them to go from self-centered existence to social centered existence. Until this task is addressed and accomplished Nigerian leaders would continue reflecting their people’s egoism and would not care for the people.
Honestly, until we shrink and transform Nigerian egos from self-centeredness to social centered egos, egos of love I do not expect good governance in Nigeria.
LEADERSHIP IS NOT FOR CHILDISHLY EGOISTIC PERSONS
Normatively speaking, a leader ought to be a mature human being but not an immature human being. Clearly, there are mature people and there are immature people.
The mature person has a good handle on his emotions, especially on his fear and anger. There are people who are prone to quick fear and anger; such persons are not good material for leadership positions (but some leaders are immature).
The person prone to childish anger is generally vain and proud. He feels inadequate and inferior and posits a compensatory big, important self that he wants to become. He presents that false big self to other people to relate to and accept. If they treat him as an important person he feels good and gets along with them but if they do not his vanity feels pricked; he flies into intemperate anger and chews people off or even fights them physically.
I was of the immature variety of leader. At the technical level, I was very good at my job and within a few years of employment I was promoted to supervisory position, then rapidly to director of a program and subsequently the executive director of a government agency.
In my capacity of CEO, I noticed that I wanted people to obey me and was angry if they did not obey me and immediately did what I told them to do.
Being the analytical type, I cool headedly analyzed why I felt angry when subordinates did not do what I asked them to do. I concluded that I was motivated to feel powerful and by not obeying me they made me feel powerless. I was an insecure boss.
I had the authority given to me by my job’s position but did not have power, for power is not obtained by bullying people around but by doing what makes other people to respect you enough to willingly obey you and follow you.
You can have influence on people and get them to follow the direction you want to go but for them to do so they must feel that you respect their views and persons.
If your subordinates feel like you do not have respect for them they would not listen to you and certainly will figure out ways to defeat your goals and objectives.
Anyway, I noticed that I flew off the handle when my subordinates did not do as I asked them to do. I subjected myself to dispassionate, unsympathetic and objective analysis and came to the realization that I felt insecure and wanted people to listen to me and obey me or else I felt angry at them. If people obeyed me I felt powerful and if not I felt powerless. I resolved to change myself and my leadership style.
It is difficult to make the right adjustments but with proper discipline one can change from being an insecure, bossy person to being a service oriented leader.
I found it necessary to bring material from my personal life into this writing to enable the reader to examine his personality and leadership style. He should not pretend to be secure for many human beings are insecure and their personal insecurity colors their leadership style.
There are leaders, managers and supervisors out there who do not have the luxury to observe their leadership styles and simply behave as their personalities dispose them to behave.
Consider Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, 1925/1998) had ideas on how to make his German people great; he was motivated to do what made his people seem superior people; he worked hard to get his self into a national leadership position and from where he worked to make Germans superior people.
He was inordinately proud, vain and narcissistic (and deluded and paranoid). If his will was obeyed he felt good but if you disobeyed him he felt angry at you and if he was sufficiently enraged he would require you killed. Your life did not matter to him. What mattered to him was that his will to power is obeyed. See, Trevor Roper, 1953.
Hitler killed many Germans who did not obey him and sent many to concentration camps where they were worked to death. He was responsible for the death of over 50 million persons; he did all these in a misguided effort to seem the fuhrerprinz, the indomitable leader of the world that every person obeyed.
Regardless of whatever he accomplished at the battle front, Hitler was a negative leader. His egoism was off the charts. He was so egoistic that he wanted to conquer all of Russia and kill off all Russians; he considered Russians inferior people; his foreign policy, lebensraum was to kill off all Slavic people and give their lands to German farmers.
Russians aware that he wanted to kill all of them fought like demons possessed them and eventually fought their way into Hitler’s Berlin bunker; Hitler did not want to be captured by the Russians and committed suicide; he felt betrayed by his Germans and gave orders to his chief architect and armament minister, Albert Speers to destroy all of Germany for the people are no longer worthy to live. He could not understand how his supposedly superior people allowed themselves to be defeated by supposedly inferior Slavic Russians. See Albert Speer, 1997; William Shirer, 2011.
Hitler was so grandiose that he wanted to conquer the entire world; he saw people as inferior to him and to his German people. He was a megalomaniac (he had delusion disorder, grandiose type).
At any point in time, there are many leaders like Hitler. The question is whether those types of leaders can redirect their huge egos to a more positive goal? I believe that they can.
If one is extremely egoistic and want to be obeyed by all people and feel angry if not obeyed (one wants to be god like to hide ones underlying sense of worthlessness), one can analyze ones ego and come to see that one has an obsessive-compulsive desire to be god like so as to mask ones underlying human sense of nothingness.
You cannot change your human condition and make yourself important; you are always unimportant and there is nothing that you can do about that reality. As long as you live in body that will die you have no worth, or you have a socially constructed, make belief worth.
You can re-conceptualize your self-concept and accept your worthlessness and existential nothingness. If you see you as nothing then you would not feel angry if other people do not obey you.
One can go from being a negative leader to a positive leader.
FROM NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE LEADER
A positive leader is calm, cool headed and caring for all people. He accepts the human condition and sees people as they truly are. People are creatures that know that they are nothing who want to seem like they are something important.
From this knowing, the positive leader has compassion for all people. He sees that we are all in the same boat and does not look down on any one but does whatever he can to help people live as well as they could during the 120 years that we can live in bodies.
The positive leader does not escape into wooly metaphysics or religion that promises Eldorado that cannot be realized on earth.
A positive leader is practical and pragmatic (Fisher, 1984); he deals with the here and now real world issues and does not flee into fantasy where he tries to solve problems at the imaginary and magical level.
Leaders fix things in this world; they build roads, bridges, remove garbage and sewage, provide kids with education, provide adults with work; they are here and now people not people living in the goody, goody metaphysical world. See, Goble (1972) on leadership.
This does not mean that the positive leader is not religious; it means that he knows that religion is, by and large, a means of escaping from our intolerable reality but does not solve our here and now issues.
What solve our earthly issues are science, technology and business, not escape into an imaginary heaven. See Covey (1994) for useful insights on leadership that takes into account higher powers.
A positive leader loves, respects and cares for people as they are, now, in bodies even though he knows that their bodies are nothing. He does to wait for them to become god like before he likes and cares for them; for one thing, if people are godlike they would do what they need to do to survive and do not need help from leaders to survive on earth.
There is no leadership in a non-material heaven where people do not live in bodies; in heaven people supposedly have what they need.
There is need for leadership on earth, for on earth we have scarcity of economic resources, not abundance, and must do what we have to do to survive in the tough environment we find ourselves in.
IN WHAT ACTIVITY ARE YOU A LEADER IN?
Leadership is of this world; each of us is capable of performing leadership role in an area of the activities of this world.
Each individual has to sit down and observe his self and see what he is doing to contribute to the good of this world and ask his self if he is a leader in that area. See, J. Clinton, 1988.
Only the individual can answer the question: in what area am I a leader in; other people cannot answer it for him. See, Kotter, 1988.
In what area am I performing leadership role? I am performing leadership role in helping me and people to understand the nature of the self, the human ego. I help us to understand what makes people develop grandiose egos and pursue them hence give themselves unnecessary fear, anxiety, anger, paranoia, depression, mania and other mental disorders.
My role is to show us how to shrink our egos down to normal level and still live in this world of egos. If one entirely gave up ones ego one exits from this world.
If one reduces ones ego level to the barest minimum one lives in relative peace and joy for it is in defense of the big ego that people disturb their peace and joy.
I am not asking people to eliminate their egos and return to egoless existence, which is out of this world; instead, I am asking people to shrink down their egos so as to optimize living peacefully in this world. This is my leadership role: I am a teacher of the nature of the human mind and how to have a peaceful and healthy mind.
Other people have different leadership roles; some are leaders in educating children, others in administering universities, in the police force, military, government bureaucracies, in the world of politics, in science and technology. See Pascale et al. 1981.
Every sector of life has leaders and followers in it Instead of wasting one’s time talking about other people’s positive or negative leadership roles, one ought to ascertain ones leadership area and be the best leader one can be in that areas and leave other people to play their own leadership roles.
Instead of Nigerians giving themselves the excuses that their countries are not well led and that that is responsible for their backwardness, each Nigerian ought to learn leadership skills and exercise leadership in his work and community. See, Smith, 1986.
I hope that this paper has enabled the reader to know what leaders do and help him embark on becoming a leader in his limited sphere or even at the nation level. See, White, 1985.
Instead of him idly sitting around and, like a school boy, complaining ab nauseous how his country’s leaders are not good leaders, Nigerians should individually become the leader they want to have in their country.
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Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD (UCLA)
University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, USA